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Tuesday, 20 March, 2001, 14:10 GMT
BBC wins back Booker
Margaret Atwood
Last year's Booker winner Margaret Atwood
The BBC has won back Britain's most prestigious literary award, the Booker Prize for Fiction.

In an agreement to run for at least three years, the Booker prize will receive live coverage on the night of the award and complementary programming on BBC television, radio and online.

This year's Booker prize shortlist will be announced in September and the prize presented on 17 October at London's Guildhall.

The judging panel, chaired by Lord Baker of Dorking, will consist of novelists Philip Henscher and Michele Roberts, the Daily Telegraph's literary editor Kate Summerscale and academic Rory Watson.

Blind Assassin

The BBC televised the Booker Prize from 1989 to 1996 but since then the event has been shown by Channel 4.

Last year's Booker prize was won by Canadian author Margaret Atwood for her novel The Blind Assassin, the story of an old woman trying to make sense of her life and the mysterious death of her sister.

Past Booker winners have included JM Coetzee, Ian McEwan, Arundhati Roy, Graham Swift and Pat Barker.

Adventure

Jonathan Taylor, Chariman of the Booker Prize management committee said: "We are delighted with the deal we have struck with the BBC.

"Both the Booker Prize and the BBC aim to generate a sense of adventure and excitement about books and reading.

"This partnership represents a large step forward for the prize."

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